So that’s what I am now. I have accomplished something. I have given birth to a son, and also, I have given life to a story about a baby bear based on my baby human son. If this book finds any interest, I will probably make more. I would like to assemble it more professionally. Probably, I would actually purchase some real photo software to make the pictures the right size. I might even invest in the art class they have at Michel’s Arts and Crafts. It’s only $25 or something, but you have to buy an art set that is $50. I’ll do that next year if the first book is any kind of success.
I gave a proof copy to my mother. That’s a copy that has an error in the back cover. It’s not significant.
I hope people will like the book. Most importantly, if and when David sees it and whenever his adoptive family read it to him, I hope it tells him that I love him, have loved him, and always will love him. He will always be my special little baby even when he’s all grown up. He will always be my heart and soul, even when I am old and at the end of my life. He will always be my pride, even when he has outgrown his adoptive parents’ home. He will always be in my thoughts, even when he is far out of sight.
I hope I get to see my son someday as an older child or as a young man. I hope his father gets to see him as well. I want to hug him and tell him I’m proud of him someday. I want to hear him say he loves me if he can say that, and I want to be able to say that to him. I want to hear his reaction to the story that was about a baby based on him as a baby. I want to see what kind of person he grows up to be. I want to see what he does with his life. I want to know him as a person.
When David was first born, I said “children are a piece of your soul walking around outside you” or something to that effect. I still feel that. I feel like there is a piece of me cut off and it will forever exist in David. The only thing is that this piece may not anymore be me. It has become another person entirely. This other person shares features of me, and he has features of his father. Still, he is his own person. He is an individual like no other. Part of what hurts me is that he is so young. He will barely be talking when his adoptive parents leave with him to either Rhode Island or Virginia. I won’t know him past the age of two years old. I have accepted it as a fact, but I don’t have to completely like it. I have to accept it, but I don’t have to give up the thought that I wish events had transpired differently. I’m comfortable with the decision, but I know I will always miss my son. I know I will always think of him. I know I will always wonder how he is doing.
The adoptive parents have not posted any new pictures in a couple weeks. When there are not pictures, I get anxious. Maybe I am wrong to feel this way. After all, the important thing is that David is happy and safe, correct? Still, there is no substitute for the feeling of having one’s child in one’s own arms. There is no replacement for loving a child that one brought into this world. I have changed the world forever. I have given the world a new person. No matter where he is, he will be there partly because of me. I should be satisfied with this, yet I am not.
The story I wrote about bears is a story I wrote when I was very sad and did not know whether I would get my son back. I was staying in a crisis house right after being in the hospital. I was not completely rational, but in those moments, I can be at my most creative. I am creative at other times as well, but I can have bursts of creativity when I am in states that are clinically labelled “manic” by psychiatrists and other professionals. This means an overabundance of energy. It is not quite the same as being happy. It’s more like being frantic. Some people are violent, angry, especially sexual or prone to dangerous behavior during these phases. In my less elevated states, I am just more energetic. This might be called “hypo-manic.” Besides the clinical mumbo jumbo, I was missing my son. One of the staff members at the crisis house told me I should do something to make myself feel better about my situation. I decided to just draw and write. I ended up writing a story about a baby bear that in my mind was based on my son or my image of him as he would be if he could talk. I made it so that he had a sister bear with whom he was having most of the dialogue. When I saw David, finally, at my first visits, I would read the story to him. He liked it. I carried it around in my purse for a long time, but it got crumbled. The cover nearly fell off. I wanted a way to preserve it. I decided I did not just want an amateur job of printing from a print shop like Kinko’s. Someone had said I should really publish it. I decided to try. One good friend from high school told me about a free self-publishing website. Later on, I found a PBS article that directed me toward the one I eventually chose, which is owned by Amazon.
The book has been published as of yesterday. There was one back cover typo as I mentioned. The typo was there I put the word “whey” in a sentence instead of “why.” I decided to publish it finally without a second round of proof copies. I saw no other typos.
The book is 8.5″ by 8.5″ with my own illustrations. There is a picture of the main character, Baby bear asleep on the front cover. That was the first picture I drew for the book. I drew it at Omni Center, the peer drop-in where I volunteer. The rest of the cover is brown. The interior pages have a light blue background. The book is 28 pages including dedication and the last page, which is just a blank page.
My husband says he is proud of me, but he says I should still get a job. I have some projects in the works, one of which starts at the end of this month. I will write more about that topic in a later entry.